As I am writing this, we’re slowly emerging from a 24-month long global pandemic and regain a sense of normalcy. Now that mask mandates are waning and schools are reopening, there’s a unique opportunity for all of us to realign our lives and discover our true purpose.
As the economic ramifications and the social hardships caused by covid-19 generated much suffering, not to speak of the staggering number of people who lost their lives, we all made a unique, once in-a-lifetime experience: We saw the world quieting down in the weeks after shelter-at home orders were issued in March 2020.
For the first time, many of us were stripped of our daily routines. The familiar patterns of commuting to work and spending our days at the workplace were upended, leaving us stuck at home while everything around us came to a virtual standstill. The sense of breathlessness that is so characteristic of our hustling modern lifestyle was suddenly replaced by a great calmness. It felt as if God had hit the pause button.
The days felt unstructured and like jelly, and the weeks rushed past. The routines and habits that provided the scaffolding of our daily lives collapsed, leaving us to ourselves with unusually much time at our hands. In that quietness, there was now room for existential questions that we’d become very good at evading:
Do I live the life that I wish to live? Am I happy in my chosen profession? Is my love relationship fulfilling? Why do I feel that there’s something missing in my life? If I could start all over again, what would I do differently? And do I really want to return to the life that I had before the pandemic?
We strongly believe that there’s a silver lining to the global devastation and rupture caused by the covid-19 pandemic. As much as the past 24 months have atomized us and separated us from our social circles, they also showed us how interconnected we all are. Simply returning to how things were before would be a colossal missed opportunity. With the effects of that vicious respiratory disease waning, we now have the unique chance to reclaim our breath, to realign our lives, and to shape our existence with enhanced focus, purpose and commitment.